The concept of Iran

Sasanian SilkThe Concept of Iran in Zoroastrian and Other Traditions

Professor François de Blois (AHRC Research Fellow, UCL)

Date: 21 April 2016Time: 6:00 PM
Finishes: 21 April 2016Time: 8:00 PM
Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings
Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Series: Dastur Dr Sohrab Hormasji Kutar Memorial Lecture Series

The Nineteenth Dastur Dr Sohrab Hormasji Kutar Memorial Lecture

People calling themselves Iranians (Avestan airiia-, Old Persian ariya-, Middle Persian ēr), and their country Ērānšahr, play a prominent role in religious and secular texts from the Avesta onwards. The content of these terms changes in the course of the centuries, having at times a more Zoroastrian religious content, before emerging as political and geographic concepts. The changing implications of these terms for the political and religious self-definition of Zoroastrians, and of others, is discussed in this paper.

About the speaker: François de Blois is a specialist for Iranian and Semitic languages and for the history of religions in the Near East and Central Asia in pre-modern times. From 2002 to 2003 he served a Professor for Iranian studies at Hamburg University. Currently he is a Senior Research Associate at University College London, where he is working on an ERC-funded major project on Calendars in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages.

Organiser: Almut Hintze in association with The World Zoroastrian Organisation